Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls him one of his ‘most dependable friends’

China and Japan waltz closer together signing deals worth $18 billion during Beijing summit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Beijing on Oct. 26

Japan and India are set to hold their first joint military exercises involving ground forces in November. The two will reportedly ride the bullet train back to Tokyo.

And although India is hardly a central player on the issue, Japan's Foreign Ministry released a statement that has become nearly de rigeur whenever Abe meets global leaders, stating that the two agreed to cooperate on North Korean denuclearization.

"[We] will have a frank exchange of views and I'd like to deepen our cooperative ties for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region", Abe said at a meeting of his Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who's now on a two-day visit to Japan, will hold delegation level talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on the final day of his tour on Monday.

Abe who called PM Modi one of his "most dependable friends", hosted him at a personal villa near Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi for a private dinner.

On Sunday, Modi visited a factory operated by robot manufacturer Fanuc before being invited to Abe's vacation home near Mount Fuji.

Modi arrived in Japan late Saturday - the same day Abe returned from a three-day summit in China - to be met by members of the Indian expatriate community.

"The India-Japan partnership has been fundamentally transformed and it has been strengthened as a special strategic and global partnership", Modi told Kyodo news agency.

Prime Minister Modi has said that projects such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail and Dedicated Freight Corridors reflected the high level and "strength of our economic engagement".

India is also hoping to have some kind of synergy or integration between Modi's Ayushman Bharat scheme, which is the largest medicare programme of its kind globally, and the Japanese programme which is called Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative.

"I am confident this visit will add new vigour to the strong friendship between India and Japan", Modi said in a tweet.

China is a strategic and economic rival of India.

Abe said that he will work closely and firmly with PM Modi for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Defence purchases from Japan will also be on the agenda.

Japan-India cooperation continued to expand broadly in many fields such as security, investment, information technology, agriculture, health, environment and tourism, Abe noted.

Before leaving for the trip, Modi described India and Japan as a "winning combination".

Although a proposed "quad" regional defense initiative between democracies Australia, India, Japan and the United State seems stuck in stasis, Japan and India sit on the eastern and western flanks of an expansive China, and are upping defense cooperation.

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